Fatal shooting of teenager sparks protests

Associated Press
A group of protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse a few blocks away Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, in St. Louis. About 100 protesters marched as they continue to press for broader reforms to local and federal law enforcement following the shooting death of Michael Brown by police. They were calling attention not only to Brown's death but also the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Kajieme Powell by St. Louis police 10 days later. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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Broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities, the Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.

The police shooting last month of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri underscored the need for the long-planned initiative, Holder said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He said the three-year project could be a "silver lining" if it helps ease racial tensions and "pockets of distrust that show up between law enforcement and the communities that they serve."

"What I saw in Ferguson confirmed for me that the need for such an effort was pretty clear," Holder said.

(AP)

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